Zion National Park officials set Presidents Day expectations

ZION NATIONAL PARK (News4Utah) - Thousands of visitors are expected to travel to Zion National Park on Presidents Day weekend, but park officials along with the Utah Department of Transportation are asking those with flexible travel plans to reconsider.

"If you plan on coming to the park over Presidents Day Weekend, be prepared for some challenges. If you could possibly come another time, we would encourage it," said John Marciano, Zion National Park Public Information Officer.

Both sidewalks and roads are being widened, a bicycle lane added, and the streets of Springdale repaved, which means one-way traffic with stops up to 90 minutes going into and out of the south entrance of the park.

"There's long waits, because there is only one way in and out of Springdale. There's going to be very limited parking inside the park, and unfortunately we won't be able to run our town shuttle," said Marciano.

The already narrow State Route 9's extensive construction also means parking problems outside the park as well.

Those choosing to walk into the park need to prepare for at least a three miles hike to reach the pedestrian entrance.

"Once our parking lots fill up in the park, then the overflow parking generally falls into Springdale, but because of the reconstruction project going on there's no parking in Springdale," said Marciano.

Springdale, Zion National Park, and UDOT are working together to manage the crowds, and set expectations.

"Bring your patience and understand we are doing the best we can to accommodate everyone," said Marciano.

The major project is being done over these winter months while park visitation is at its lowest. The construction will be ongoing through mid-April, and finished in time for the summer crowds.


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